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A Memorial for 6 Million and Prayer for Israel

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A large group of community members attended the annual Kristallnacht Remembrance Service.

By Rachel Loria

On November 12th, the Emek Sholom Committee and community members gathered for Kristallnacht at the Emek Sholom Holocaust Memorial Cemetery.

The cold weather did not stop our committee, and those who support us, from attending to support not only the Jewish community but all who support Israel.

Colonel Jay Ipson, a Holocaust Survivor, and his grandson Benjamin Ipson (3rd generation Survivor) began the ceremony by the shofar blast. The blast, like the calls and wails of those who have died due to antisemitism and hate, set the tone for a powerful ceremony.

The Color Guard, led by the Legionnaires from Post #144 (led by Chuck Talley, USN) brought forward the flags, accompanied by Rabbi Sherry Grinsteiner from Congregation Or Atid, who carried the Israeli flag.

Rabbi Grinsteiner also led the opening prayer and the emotional and heartfelt Prayer for our Armed Forces and the Israeli Defense Force (IDF).

Alex Keisch who hosted the event and delivered passionate welcome remarks, made sure everything ran smoothly.

Sarah Ipson, a 3rd generation Survivor, told the story of the Ipson family and eloquently expressed their struggles during the Nazi Regime and life after the war.

 

She perfectly illustrated why it’s important for the younger generations to continue to tell their families’ stories and remember the atrocities caused by anti Semitism.

Rachel Loria, a second generation Survivor, introduced the Esther J Windmueller Never Again Award and presented the award to Fiona Siebel, a 16-year old from Caroline County Public School, who is also an exchange student from Germany.

Fiona spoke about the importance of  reporting antisemitic acts and how education can help to prevent anti-Semitism.

Guest Speaker Rep. Rob Wittman from the 1st District U.S. House of Representatives. spoke about Israel’s right to defend itself.

He spoke about how Israel has the support of the United States and how an attack on Israel is an attack to more than just the Jewish people.

We value the Congressman’s presence and appreciate his steadfast support of Israel.

Ira Korshin and other board members led some audience members to light candles on the monument while Susan Greenbaum played and sang the Partisan Zog Nit Keynmol featuring the key line “Mir Zaynen Do” We are Here!  Susan’s music brought some of the poignant music to our ceremony, and we treasure her contributions every year.

Cantor Sarah Beck-Berman (Beth Ahabah) led the group in El Moleh Rachamim and the Kaddish for 6 million to remember those who were murdered during the Holocaust but also recently killed in Israel since October 7th,.

Cantor Beck-Berman’s beautiful voice adds poignancy and emotion to our ceremony every year.

Meredith Weisel joined us from the Anti Defamation League to remind us that antisemitism is on the rise, especially since October 7.

She reminded the audience members that we do not have to face antisemitism alone, and told us to report possible antisemitism to the Anti Defamation League.

We concluded the ceremony with Ben Kutner presenting an Eagle Trophy to the American Legion Post 144 and Chuck Talley to thank them for their support over the years and acknowledge their contributions to our community.

The entire Emek Sholom Board of Directors thanks all who were involved in making this event successful and ensuring that we are not alone and that we are still here to commemorate Kristallnacht year after year. Mir Zaynen Do!

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